Anecdotal evidence is required to formulate an educated opinion on the property market, and this week it performed with honours. Historically, for the market to be dominant it requires the top-end to identify that purchasers are still happy to trade, thus revealing that ring of confidence in the market. Given that negotiations on top-end properties are not concluded overnight, there is no denying that our property market has responded accordingly to the re-election of the Howard Government. The October, November and December markets will be intriguing and property players can remain upbeat as long as the ‘Governor of Moolah’ continues to leave interest rates at 5.25 per cent.

The highest sale for the week, was a waterfront on Shellcove Road, Neutral Bay which posted the second highest price ever achieved on the North Shore with a $13.5 million sale (two million short of our record price). Another waterfront on Rosherville Road, reportedly sold for in excess of $10 million, and a home that sold on Bradleys Head Road for $5.3 million in April last year, has just sold again for over $6.00 million. The property on Balmoral Avenue, Balmoral that we were marketing has found a new owner too! Whilst many are somewhat surprised at the sudden ‘feeding frenzy’ on property, it appears that it is happening across the board. One only has to look at the record visits that the property portals are posting, to identify the ground swell. Bear in mind that September record results have just been posted, not October figures, so we can expect even higher results.

For those who were of the belief that the property market would capitulate, think again, because here is our take on the state of play. If we take Mosman as the example, there are roughly 5,900 houses in the Municipality. On average the market trades anywhere from ten to twelve per cent per annum. This is now set to reduce dramatically given that the market has now been trading positively since 1996. We would expect that the volume of trade could drop as low as five to six per cent per annum in 2005, which all but confirms that home values will remain constant with some sharp increases dependent on supply V demand. The present property run is unprecedented, eight years and still going strong. It’s an all time record! However, the reduction in volume will have its fair share of casualties. It won’t be the home owners who suffer. It will be the agents, as they too now face a survival of the fittest.

It took us four years, but it has been a remarkable voyage as this week our Internet sales climbed over the $250,000,000 mark. We have now made 148 sales with a value of $257,248,000. Our target for 2004 is $300,000,000, and we are very confident of achieving our goal. This would then equate to $75,000,000 per annum to subscribers. We should be in a position to launch the new website in the coming weeks, so from our perspective, the news keeps getting better. The online side of our business model is crucial to our survival in the marketplace and it is reassuring to know that we are considered market leaders in this category.

Having dropped the ‘missed it’, this week saw the inaugural launch of ‘Just Listed’. The ninety-four page first edition presents very well and offers something that has (sadly) been missing for quite some time now. Over the years, there has been a reliance on whole page advertising that edged the lower priced properties out of the market. It is refreshing to see that our Apartment Division can now make greater inroads into a new and larger market. Of even greater interest will be how the portal, tracks interested parties. I will give it a few weeks before comparing its traffic to that of and

There is so much to look at in the overall property landscape at the moment, as times are on the change. For the moment, we are concentrating on our subscriber sales as we are just $42,752,000 away from winning a bet !! As to the reality of whether or not we will achieve this goal, it is said ‘right place at the right time’, and our property market appears to have timed it perfectly !! Cheers and clink ^__^

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